Christmas email campaigns require every member of your marketing team to get extra creative. With so many offers around, people’s inboxes are flooded with all kinds of sales, discounts, gift guides and secret presents. To run efficient email marketing during the holiday season, you need to come up with something original at least and with something extraordinary at best. How to do it?

Write a Good Christmas Email Subject Line

A subject line is where it all starts. As a rule, brands send a series of holiday emails, each with its own purpose: wish a Merry Christmas, tell about the results of the year, share plans for the future and, of course, send hot sales and discounts.

Put this purpose straight in the subject line, telling people what they may expect inside. Take a look at these examples I’ve recently spotted in my inbox.

  • Early Access To The Holiday Sale.
  • All The Gift Ideas For All The Runners.
  • Gift Green – 20% Off These Sustainable Brands!
  • 🎄 12 Days of Xmas: Day FOUR 🔔
  • Sending Warm Wishes from Our Family to Yours.
  • Gift-giving Checklist 📝 Make a list and check it twice ✔️

Each is Christmas-related, but you can tell for sure, the content inside will be different. People currently looking for gift ideas, would open the corresponding message with the guide. Those who’ve already set upon a certain present would prefer checking sales and messages promo codes. Use a subject line to direct people to the right content and save time which is especially scarce on holidays.

Also, don’t forget about emoji. A Сhristmas tree, snowflake, Santa, gift box, snowman, candle, and Christmas lollipop are among the main symbols associated with the holiday. However, mind that almost every brand will be using them for some of their campaigns. Find an emoji that resonates with your business or current offer and combine it with any of the above traditional symbols.

Provide Entertainment

2020 was a very challenging year, and many people got sick and tired of all COVID-19-related news and lockdown updates. What everyone wants for holidays is entertainment, distraction and comfort. Gamification is what can help you deliver some.

In basic terms, gamification refers to all techniques and design findings that organize content in a game-like format. It can be a quiz, puzzle, crossword, wheel of fortune, trivia, or whatever that catches the attention and prompts people to interact with your campaign for more than one second.

A Сhristmas challenge or contest is another way to boost involvement. Sharing photos with your products featured or referring friends are the most common tasks but you can go further. However, try to follow these conditions when asking your audience to participate:

  • Task should be achievable. A too simple task is boring but asking your subscribers to climb Everest and take a picture on its summit holding your mug with a corporate logo is probably too much.
  • Terms should be short and clear. Nobody will read several paragraphs on how to enter. Sometimes it’s better to give a video or GIF instruction rather than write a long copy.
  • There should be a prize. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something material. An experience like breakfast with your team (maybe online), Q&A with experts, access to limited items or gated content, or an upgraded subscription plan will also be appreciated.

Also, make sure you send campaigns with a contest in advance as people should have time to participate. The more complicated and time-consuming task you ask to fulfill, the earlier it’s better to start.   

Send Smart Gifts

A good discount, say 70% off all collection, can sell you anything. When combined with free shipping or festive wrapping, it’s hard to say no to. However, on Christmas everyone is sending such offers so your task is to find how your product can be special.

What to offer aside promo codes and delivery? Options are numerous depending on your product:

  • Greeting card;
  • Personalized engraving or print;
  • Pouches or bags for storage;
  • E-gift card for a friend;
  • Access to limited holiday collection;
  • Access to gated content;
  • Workshop with an expert;
  • Event invitation;
  • Chance to be featured on your media, and more.

To get a better result, segment your audience properly and send people incentives they’re most likely to use. Any piece of data can be used for customer segmentation, but I recommend focusing on campaign activity and purchase history. For example, if a person always responded to free delivery and never opted for any other bonuses, that’s what they’ll probably prefer this year as well and what should be included in your campaigns for sure. If a person often ordered products for kids, they might have children, and an additional block with product recommendations for kids will be useful for these particular customers.

Note that shopping behavior during the holiday season might be different from a regular behavioral pattern as people buy many things as gifts and won’t buy them at any other time. So make sure you adjust your recommendation algorithms accordingly so that your clients don’t receive offers on miniature bulbs or tree toppers in March.

Stick to Minimalism

There is a time to send festive emails full of promo codes and gifts and a time to send soulful wishes that look better with a simple design. I’m not saying you need to send a boring plain-text message with one sentence in it and a lonely Christmas tree in the footer. What I’m saying is that sometimes less can be more.

After you’ve sent all your promos with last-minute sales, gifts for two and 70% off sitewide, consider dropping a couple of words with several lines of warm wishes. 2020 wasn’t an easy year, so wishing a merrier one won’t be just for the sake of writing something. People do need encouragement and inspiration at these challenging times.

To sum up, this holiday season a combo of smart personalization and entertaining design should be the main focus of your campaigns. Segment your audience to pick up the right offer for each group and pack it in a festive Christmas template. Don’t forget about greetings and wishes: make them sound as if they were written by a friend and not by a brand that’s trying to sell you something.



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